U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

In January 2010, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary charged the young department with generating efficiencies and improving business processes in Human Resources Information Technology (HRIT) across its 16 component agencies. This Human Capital Segment Architecture (HCSA) effort was designed to guide DHS investments in HR enterprise-wide solutions over the next five to seven years. Now, for the first time, DHS has a solid understanding of the current state of HRIT and a clear direction for moving ahead. This segment architecture represents a major step forward in the Department’s ability to address HRIT obstacles to achieving its vital protective mission as a focused “One DHS.” 

Why This Matters To You

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is charged with protecting the United States from threats, whether manmade or natural. When established in 2003, DHS brought together agencies with their own disparate business processes, information technology, and systems. Building “One DHS” from organizations with long histories and strong identities, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Secret Service, is a challenging task.

The HCSA will save the taxpayers money and avoid unnecessary costs, free DHS employees from wasteful tasks in paper-based systems to do more valuable work, save time in hiring, and increase the quality of the process. Above all, improved systems and technology will enable DHS to better achieve its mission of keeping the United States safe and secure.

For the first time, the department has a plan of action with broad consensus, which will better align its IT investments with enhanced HR business processes.

How We Helped

The DHS Human Capital Business Systems (HCBS) group brought in Phase One to provide expertise in business transformation, strategic planning, and the Federal Segment Architecture Methodology (FSAM) to address the gaps and redundancies in its HRIT. The Phase One team established governance bodies – the effort closely partners both the human resources and IT communities – in a process that is bringing DHS’ human resources activities as a whole into focus. For the first time, the department has a plan of action with broad consensus, which will better align its IT investments with enhanced HR business processes.

In this effort Phase One has interviewed more than 110 DHS staff members, identified 15 strategic improvement opportunities, and is analyzing business systems and data management across the department and its components. Initial recommendations were reflected in the DHS budget, and the recently approved HCSA and its transition plan will balance spending constraints with business needs to serve as the basis for DHS’ Human Capital IT planning, budgeting, and project management.